Senators Prepare for Another Round of Weekend Votes

Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:09am

Senators for the second time this month will work the weekend shift, with a Saturday procedural vote teed up for a spending measure and a Sunday vote on final passage.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a procedural motion Thursday night to end debate on the $446.8 billion omnibus spending package, which packages six appropriations bills. Reid’s move forces the Senate to briefly turn from the health care reform bill, which has consumed the floor this month, and vote on a motion to end debate on the omnibus Saturday. The Senate will likely vote on final passage of the omnibus spending measure on Sunday.

Members cast votes last weekend on amendments to the health care measure. While Reid was hoping to quickly pass the omnibus and give Senators a break from Saturday and Sunday votes this weekend, he could not reach an agreement with Republicans to do so.

Though the compilation of bills in the omnibus includes funding for several Cabinet agencies, including Commerce, Justice, Labor, Health and Human Services, and State, it does not include funding for the Defense Department. The Defense measure, which is expected to include a controversial increase in the debt limit, will likely be considered later this month.